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Torchlight female outlander on white background

Ksenia Venom


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Torchlight II is a cool action-adventure computer RPG, much like Diablo. It was made by key guys from older Diablo games. It was released in 2012 on PC, Mac and Linux.

The player characters in Torchlight are blank slates. So, almost all the background and details in this entry is made up and is unique to this character to flesh her out. This profile also comes with a small bit of original setting that can be used in most sword-and-sorcery settings, because why not.

As often with our fleshed-out character archetypes from video games, part of the exercise is to make up explanations about the various bits of video game logic (say, the powers). The goal is to have a small framework that would allow the character to make sense in a different medium. Say, a fantasy novel or comic book.

Two other archetypal Torchlight character classes have such entries :


  • This profile features a sample or customized Player Character – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.

Background

  • Real Name: Ksenia Bethsabey “Venom” Bashra.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Village.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 132 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Pale blonde


Powers & Abilities

Ksenia is a skilled, agile fighter as well as an experienced killer and mercenary. She is an experienced traveller and outdoorswoman, and good with dogs and dog-like creatures.

As a woman from the Village, her blood is a powerful toxin with various supernatural characteristics. When exposed to the air it will expand and harden into a solid within two seconds – if she lets it.

Blood outside her body can still be controlled through a sort of telekinesis for a few seconds. This is usually used to fling blood droplets from a small wound. These turn into a volley of jagged, poisonous blades on their way. Their number, velocity and volume is much greater than the originating droplets’.

Ksenia stands over destroyed skeletons

Furthermore, Ksenia wields a pair of half-circle-shaped fighting blades. These “wheels of soil and death” have wavy pointy ends, plus a handle within the half-circle.

She also knows the rune vault technique. This launches the person performing it backward and in the air with a flash. As a competent acrobat, she turns this into a somersault so as to land ready to fight. With the dazzling flash, rune vault is a good technique to know when faced with too many opponents.

Duke

The glaive is the signature weapon of the Outlanders. It is a hub with five curved arms. From each arm, curved blades can spring using a switchblade-like mechanism.

A glaive is a magical thrown weapon. It can steer itself in flight to slash multiple opponents. Then it flies back to its masters’ hand to be hurled anew. It is “crewed” by a preserved animal brain at the centre of the hub – usually a dog’s brain.

Ksenia Venom (Torchlight character) portrait banner tough

Click here for a larger version.

The brain is still alive and thinking. Furthermore, it is mystically still able to smell and hear like a bloodhound does.

A glaive wielder must be adopted by the brain of their weapon, as the two share a silent rapport when the wielder’s hand is around the hub. The glaive needs to trust its wielder. Being good with dogs — assuming a dog’s brain is embedded in the glaive — usually does the trick.

A glaive can also be used to track quarries, by having it smell a scent. It will then tug in the correct direction in the wielder’s hand.

The back of the upper tip of Ksenia’s blades has a sort of smooth claw. It can be used to catch the returning glaive and immediately throw it back even when dual-wielding. Thus, her glaive stays flying and attacking while she’s fighting or manoeuvring.

Here comes Violet

Violet is a warbeast. Warbeasts are a species of predators popularly associated with corrupt tribals such as goblins and sturmbeorns (bear people). Warbeasts are a vaguely canine, vaguely reptilian, sabre-toothed beast. They can reach the size of a tiger.

These have pitbull-like instincts and personalities. As the name implies, most are not too difficult to tame as fighters. Some tribes even armour their warbeasts using custom-fitted harnesses and plating, though that is not the case with Violet.

Though she is a powerful combat animal, Violet has been tamed to be easy-going and unaggressive until ordered to attack. Furthermore, she understands and obeys a full range of war dog orders and plays fetch with the best of them.

Beastly logistics

Violet was also trained to find a heavily-scented handkerchief. This is a common arrangement for people with large fighting animals. This allows for the beast to run back to the scented item left behind in an inn. There, a reliable local can take off the harnessed bags for storage and replace them with empty bags.

A warbeast in Torchlight, with and without barding

Most innkeepers offer this service in troubled areas frequented by mercenaries. It’s easy to do, and mercenaries can spend a lot on alcohol.

Violet can hunt to feed herself. But if the area doesn’t allow for that even offal can end up costing a problematic amount. She’s still young and small-ish as warbeasts go (about the size of a mastiff), but she nevertheless eats a lot of meat.

Torchlight notes

In Torchlight II, Ksenia runs a standard “glaivelander” build. That is, the Outlander character class with an emphasis on glaive-wielding skills. Focus gets almost all points, Glaive Throw at 5, Cursed Daggers plus Share the Wealth and Elements Master as priorities, plus sundries such as Dodge Mastery and one point in Rune Vault.

The Outlander’s signature weapon, the glaive, is clearly inspired by 1980s movie cult classic Krull. I call it a signature weapon since that’s the skill point Outlanders start with. It has to be unlearned in the first town to deploy a glaive-less build.


History

Ksenia Bashra is from the Village, which has no other name. The Village was established almost two centuries ago, East of Grunnheim. Back then, a reviled minority was deported at bayonet point to the edge of the Eights-Woods. This area is a sort of cold-weather mangrove, a mixture of swamp and forest. This is the result of underground sources of hot, sulphurous water.

The Eights-Woods are ruled by species of heavily mutated, cunning giant spiders. Back then, these had started to expand beyond the Woods. The authorities hoped that the deportees would delay the arachnids for a few years. They were to serve as a buffer and cannon fodder.

While conventional agriculture is impossible in the Eight-Woods, the deportees proved hardy and resourceful. Within ten years their practices and culture were barely recognisable. They had learned to hunt and gather in the area, build durable structures, and fight off the spiders.

Thankfully, the spiders didn’t attack right away. Their goal was apparently to cultivate this new food source by letting it grow. This mistake bought years for the refugees, who devised their own methods to fight off and destroy their new enemy.

Way of fire, way of poison

Two magical traditions rapidly developed. The deportees had found that fire and poison were the best weapons against the spiders. Therefore the men were taught flame magics, and the women venom magics.

This new, kit-bashed magical tradition transformed the blood of its followers into either liquid fire or liquid poison. This made them impervious to toxins, un-eatable, and deadly to bite. The altered blood could also be wielded as a weapon. The men produced whip-like congealed blades of burning blood. The women flung solid shards of poison blood.

An Outlander visits the blacksmith

News spread that the deportees could fight off the mutant spiders. So did rumours that they were using “blood magic”. These had been the very accusation leading to their forced exile.

These rumours had always been true in a way. This people had created medical spells clearing blood of toxins and fevers. These mystical treatments had essentially been inverted to create blood of poison and blood of fire.

War against the eight-legged

Firebombs and toxic bombs were built using blood. These were used to destroy spider nests and arm booby traps. Dogs and bitches could also have their blood changed – though not with the same potency as humans. Metallic traps were built using recycled sundries, often relying on slicing blades to lop off spider legs.

Ksenia Venom (Torchlight character) portrait banner sad

Click here for a larger version.

The blood of fire and the blood of poison also made it possible to eat some toxic substances, as long as they were otherwise nourishing. This was a huge asset, greatly facilitating survival. It turned all sorts of berries, roots, small lizards, frogs, rats, etc. into viable food sources.

This kept the hunting-gathering time compatible with extensive defence efforts and thaumaturgical research.

By the time of Ksenia, the Village has been established for six generations. The pressure, attacks and ambushes never ceased, and there were major onslaughts. But the Village held.

Beyond our time, beyond our universe…

When Ksenia was a teen, an Outlander’s glaive was found in a burned spider’s nest. The villagers only knew some basics about Outlanders. Still, they determined that there was a dog’s brain in the device.

Rounding up the kids who had a good rapport with the Village’s dogs, they sought which of the youths the glaive liked best. The glaive reacted most strongly to Ksenia.

They had picked a young person since none of them knew how to use a glaive. It was assumed that years of training and conditioning were necessary, like with another weapon they had heard of – the longbow.

As it turned out much training wasn’t really necessary. The glaive was doing much of the work. Therefore, Ksenia participated in battles from age 13 onward. She hung back from the fray with two women guarding her with spears and blood, and repeatedly threw her weapon into the fight.

Outlander catching her glaive

Though she wanted to be a dogs-breeder, from then on she was a full-time fighter trainee. She later graduated to raider and patroller.

Albeit she knew how to fight up close and did so in self-defense, she was primarily a ranged specialist. The glaive could be thrown even into a thick melee yet only slash through the enemy. And the poison blood women primarily fought at a range anyway, due to their abilities.

A time to rove

At 20, Ksenia was further promoted to leave the Village. Her new job was to funnel in resources from the outside world. A handful of fighting men and women of good intelligence and initiative were tasked with this.

They coordinated with Noah, an old Village man living at the Enclave . He was the only person to make monthly runs with beasts of burden to bring supplies to the Village. Noah also was the only Village person settled outside of it. He primarily handled the remittances brought by Ksenia and the other four roving agents, who all worked as mercenaries.

During an early mission in the Temple Steppes , Bashra found an abandoned warbeast pup among ruined goblin tents. The temporary camp had been pillaged by sturmbeorn raiders, but they had missed the then-small animal. The puppy had been trapped under a collapsed yurt .

One day, as she handed remittances over to Noah, Ksenia noticed that the cute little Estherians of the Enclave seemed in disarray. Something about a mad alchemist and the elemental guardians.

(And this is where the actual in-game events start.)


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Ksenia comes from a harsh, poor, regimented milieu. She is generally dour and closed. Her interest is to get jobs that pay well, keep a small cut and have Noah buy stuff for the Village.

She doesn’t socialise much, doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t talk about her job. She wanted to raise puppies among her folk – not fight in terrible foreign conflicts among strange peoples.

She is dirt-poor. Any money she doesn’t need to operate is handed over to Noah to help the Village. Plus, mercenaries aren’t rich to start with.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ksenia Venom

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold the Village
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 016 HP: 020

Powers:
Acid: 03, Flash: 03, Jumping: 01, Poison Touch: 05, Projectile weapons: 05, Systemic antidote: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Mystic-Linked.
  • Acid, Poison Touch and Projectile Weapons are produced by bleeding, though but a few drops usually suffice.
  • Acid has a Range of Touch.
  • Flash is Combined with Jumping, and can only be used when using one AP of Jumping.
  • Poison Touch can be Combined with Projectile Weapons, in which case it rides its Range and Area of Effect.
  • Projectile weapons has a Range of but 03, but has an Area of Effect of 1 AP.

Skills:
Accuracy (Glaive, Projectile weapons Power): 06, Acrobatics: 05, Animal handling (Handling): 02, Evasion: 05, Martial Artist: 04, Military science (Camouflage, tracking): 03, Occultism: 03, Weaponry (Melee): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Expertise (Canine animals and similar (incl. warbeasts)), Familiarity (Survival), Language (Common ; Krymchak is native), Lightning Reflexes, Pets (Duke the glaive, Violet the warbeast), Schtick (Paired wheels of soil, Sure-Footed), Misc.: blood of the Village’s women.

Connections:
The Village (High), Mercenary scene (Low).

Drawbacks:
Debt 2 (toward the Village), Exile (Voluntary).

Equipment:

  • Wheels of soil and death [BODY 05, EV 03 (05 w/Martial artist).
  • LEATHER ARMOUR [BODY 04, Skin armour: 01, Drawback: Real Armour].

Duke the glaive

DEX 03 BODY 06 INT 01 WIL 01 MIN 01, Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 07, Claws: 06, Extended hearing: 03, Flight: 07, Miniaturisation: 04, Super-hearing: 03, Telepathy: 00, Bonus: Claws has Multi-Attack 2, Limitation: Telepathy has a Range of Touch and Flight cannot last more than one Phase, Note: user can substitute Accuracy (Glaive) for AV, and Miniaturisation plus Flight is the usual OV of the weapon in flight.


Violet the warbeast

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Canine-like
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Warbeast
Inf: 02 Aur: 00 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 04, Claws: 06, Cold immunity: 01, Extended Hearing: 03, Flame immunity: 01, Jumping: 01, Running: 04, Super Hearing: 03, Ultra Vision: 04

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 03, Military Science (Camouflage): 02, Thief (Stealth): 04


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ksenia Venom — Averaged PL7.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 02 04 02 04 01 01 01

Powers

Blood of the Village’s women ● 24 points ● Descriptor: Physiology, alchemy
– Blood-soaked grip — Corrosive Damage 2, Quirk (cannot be Strength-based) plus two additional Damage ranks (Limited 1 – only vs. metals)
– Flung poison blood — Line-area 2 Damage 5, variable Descriptor (piercing, ballistic, poison)
– Impervious Fortitude 6, Limited (agents coming into contact with her blood)

Rune vault ● 7 points ● Descriptor: Magic
Leaping 2 Linked w/Close Cloud-area 1 Dazzle 3 (Visual, Fortitude), Quirk (the cloud only lasts one round)

Wheels-fighter ● 2 point (Easily removable – must wield paired fighting wheels) ● Descriptor: Skill
Close Attack 1, Enhanced Parry 1, Improved Critical 1

Combat Advantages

All-out Attack, Close attack 1, Defensive attack, Defensive Roll 2, Impreved Initiative, Ranged attack 2.

Other Advantages

Equipment 1, Instant Up, Language (Krymchak), Leadership, Second chance 2 (Fear, Losing her footing), Sidekick 8 (Violet the warbeast), Sidekick 12 (Duke the glaive).

Skills

Acrobatics 3 (+7), Athletics 7 (+7), Close combat (Smaller blades) 2 (+7), Expertise (Mercenary) 4 (+5), Expertise (K9 handler) 5 (+6), Expertise (Outdoorswoman) 3 (+4), Expertise (Occult lore) 3 (+4), Insight 1 (+2), Perception 3 (+4), Ranged attack (Glaive) 4 (added to sidekick offense), Ranged attack (Blood) 3 (+9).

Equipment

Wheels of soil and death Strength-based slashing Damage 2 ● 2 points
Leather armour Protection 1 ● 1 point

Offense

Initiative +8
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 0
Wheels of soil and death +8, Close, Damage 2, Critical 19-20
Blood +9, Line area 2, Damage 5
Glaive +10, attacks delivered by the sidekick

Defence

Dodge 09 Fortitude 06/12**
Parry 08/09*** Toughness 02*/04/05****
Will 06

* Without Defensive Roll.
** Agents coming into contact with her blood, 6 Ranks are Impervious.
*** With paired fighting wheels.
**** With Defensive Roll and leather armour.

Complications

  • Wherever I may roam The life of a lone travelling mercenary, far away from home, is hard.
  • Remittance Most of Ksenia’s money goes to the village, leaving her dirt-poor.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 8 (sidekick), Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 6.
  • Points total 134 Abilities 30, Defences 18, Skills 19, Powers 33, Devices 0, Advantages 34. Equiv. PL 9.


Sidekick – Violet the warbeast

Str 03 Sta 02 Agi 01 Dex 00 Fig 04 Int -4 Awa 01 Pre -2
Powers: Str-based bite Damage 2, Senses 5 (Acute tracking scent, Low-light vision, Ultra-hearing, Extended hearing), Leaping 2, Speed 3
Advantages: Close attack 2, Defensive Roll 2
Skills: Athletics 2 (+5), Stealth 2 (+3)
Defenses: Dodge 5, Parry 6, Will 1, Fortitude 8, Toughness 2/4
Totals: 40 points


Sidekick – Duke the glaive

Str /// Sta 04 Agi /// Dex /// Fig /// Int -4 Awa 01 Pre ////
Powers: Slashing Damage 5, Senses 4 (Ultra-hearing, extended hearing, acute tracking scent), Flight 6 (Limited 1 to one round at once), Feature 1 (Telepathic communication when held)
Advantages: Close attack 6, Defensive attack, Evasion, Improved critical 2, Move-by action, Takedown
Defenses: Dodge 15, Parry 15, Will 1, Fortitude 4, Toughness 4
Totals: 57 points

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Inspired by a common character build in the video game Torchlight II.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 22nd of April, 2013.

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